Messenger Kids app raises social media safety concerns

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - "Social Media, Facebook and all that connected to that really is an adult medium," said Elaine Spaull, Executive Director of Center for Youth. 

But now, that's changing. Facebook has created a program, called Messenger Kids, for users under the age of 13 to send texts, videos and photos to friends and family.  It's Facebook's first product aimed at young children, but it's opening the debate about how and when children should start their online lives. Spaull says there is an age limit.

"13-years-old really should be the cutoff. The ability to begin to think independently; finishing middle school going into high school.

"As far as younger than that, I don't think that's appropriate for them," said Danny Redic, a father. 

Parents like Redic, agree. Having three daughters under the age of thirteen, he says there are way too many opportunities on Messenger Kids for children to be taken advantage of. Even though, parents have to approve who their children communicate with on Messenger Kids.     

"If it requires parental consent to get on, that means adults can get on and pretend to be children," said Redic. 

Here's how it works. Parents, who already have a Facebook Profile, must set up accounts for their children and approve who they can communicate with. Mom, Laurie Leone says, the parental controls make her feel more comfortable allowing children on Messenger Kids.

"If you have a parent that's really involved in watching the social media, then yea,' said Leone. 

Overall, if you sign your child up for Messenger Kids, Spaull advises to talk to your child, have a good sense of what they are able to understand and monitor the conversations your kids are having online.

Messenger Kids is already on Facebook, but the app for iPhone users launches Monday. 


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • Adam Interviews
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • South Korea 2018
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Plugged-In Parent
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Extraordinary People
  • Your Local Election HQ
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center